Moi: “I can’t feel my”
Moi: “when I’m with”
Moi: “but I”
Son: “luff it,” giggle, “I luff it!”
The soundtrack to our most recent hot tub adventure (I promise, it’s more like a just-barely-lukewarm-tub – but it has jets and bubbles, and is a super fun “physical” activity we love to include in our 3-15 chunks!)
Not a traditional children’s song, I’ll admit, but a pretty amusing one to act out with a little lead vocalist. I’ve always been something of a melodic talker, narrating my life musical-style in real time – but now, I have just cause, hallelujah!
Rewards of Singing with your Kids
Singing, as it turns out, is one of the best things we can do for our babies! Here’s a list of the 10 top reasons to bust out your vocals whether or not you’ve always secretly felt destined for Broadway:
- Language Skills: Song is a special type of speech. In Blythe’s book “The Genius of Natural Childhood” she states that “lullabies, songs and rhymes of every culture carry the ‘signature’ melodies and inflections of a mother tongue, preparing a child’s ear, voice and brain for language”. This food may help with that too…
- Mathematical & Scientific Reasoning: Music enhances development in areas of the brain tied to counting, pattern recognition, time, and organization – children who have studied music tend to excel more in math
- Music Skills: By singing together, you can help your child learn to match tones, vary speed and volume, express emotion with their voice, maintain a steady rhythm and all kinds of other skills that music makes fun!
- Cause & Effect: When we sing the same songs over and over again, the littles learn to anticipate what will come next (claps, stomps, tickles, fist pump, etc.).
- Literacy/Memory: There’s a reason we sing the ABC’s and don’t try to get kids to memorize it on paper. Put something to song and it becomes infinitely more sticky to their little minds. Things like… parts of the body, numbers, days of the week, countries….
- Tradition: Songs are a powerful tool for promulgating our cultural heritage to our children… even if you only know one song. And all it says is, “eat birdie, fly away” in another language.
- Transitions & Routines: Babies feel safer when they know what is coming next, when life is at least a little predictable. Having a specific song that precedes bedtime, dinner or using the potty makes it all just a little easier to take.
- Play: Get your moves on and make singing and dancing a part of regular play time. Teach songs with actions and help them to learn balance, coordination, body awareness and rhythm!
- Bonding: Babies are born already knowing their parents voices from their time in utero, and music can be instrumental in furthering emotional attachment. As songs become more familiar to them, they trigger bonding through a sense of security.
- New words: Songs also introduce kids to sounds and meanings of new words that otherwise might not be a part of your family’s vernacular. Feel free to insert hilarious or impressive words into common songs just for the learning 🙂 (ie: the itsy bitsy spider ascended the water spout). The sky’s the limit!
Don’t let a little thing like talent (or lack thereof) stand in your way. Your baby is your biggest fan 🙂 So make like you’re in the shower, grab a wooden spoon and sing and dance like no one is watching. Someone will be, and they’ll thank you later.